Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, who has traditionally hosted the show since its inception back in 2006, took temporary leave from his seat in front of the camera as a matter of compliance with BNN’s equal airtime policy for candidates during active election cycles.
Bossa, who is also a member of the Department’s Family Matters program, began his interim-hosting assignment earlier this summer and will continue it through the end of the calendar year. In an effort to disseminate more information about the Department to a wider and previously underserved audience, Bossa conducts shows primarily in the Spanish language, hoping to connect more deeply with viewers from the Latino and Hispanic community. On each two-segment program, which films every Tuesday, Bossa interviews local Hispanic or Latino leaders from a variety of professions and organizations. With a list that includes everyone from doctors, to educators to politicians to activists, consul generals and more, the guests that Bossa has interviewed have provided a window into the great diversity and richness of the Hispanic and Latino community.
“Once I ask them about what makes them passionate or what life experiences have led them to their work, the conversation takes off,” Bossa said. “My favorite guests are the ones who do work for others in the community, I love hearing about how they’re changing lives.”
With nearly 200,000 Hispanic individuals living in the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Winthrop, Revere and Boston, and many families living in areas with high incarceration rates, it is important that the Department build a positive relationship with the Hispanic and Latino community.
“It’s a multi-cultural experience that anyone in the Latino community can benefit from,” Bossa said. “The show is intended for anyone in Suffolk County who might understand or appreciate a Spanish-language program and wants to learn more about the Hispanic and Latino community.”
Bossa, who is originally from Bogota, Colombia, grew up in Boston and has spoken Spanish his entire life.
“I love speaking my language; it’s always beautiful to hear the harmony that comes from everyone coming together to speak, regardless of what country they might be from.”
The aim of the Common Ground show is to provide an opportunity for community leaders and organizers to have candid conversations with the Department and familiarize Suffolk County residents with all of the work that the Sheriff’s Department does on a regular basis.
“With the turbulent political climate our community has faced recently, I want our program to reach out to the Latino community and show them all of the good things that the Sheriff’s Department does and to educate them on the resources that we have,” Bossa said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about the resources available to the Latino communities, not only within the Department but across Suffolk County.”
To watch current broadcasts of the Common Ground show, tune in to Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) channel #9 and RCN channel #15 Mondays from 2 to 3 p.m., Thursdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Fridays from 8 to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To watch Common Ground episodes and recent Department videos, visit our website at: http://www.scsdma.org/bnn-cable-shows/.